Whether you want to offer maid services, janitorial services, carpet and upholstery cleaning, and more, this post explains how you can launch a profitable cleaning service. Nothing teaches as well as the voice of experience. So we asked established cleaning service Toronto to tell us what’s contributed to their success and what they think causes some companies to fail. Here are their tips:
- Don’t Stop Learning
The cleaning industry may not be the most glamorous or complex, but established business owners, such as Lustre Cleaning Service, say there’s always something to learn.
- Read industry publications,
- Go to meetings and conventions,
- Participate in trade organizations, and
- Encourage your suppliers to keep you up to date.
- Tap all your resources
A wide range of associations serves various aspects of the professional cleaning industry. These groups can help with operational, marketing and management issues. Many state and government agencies also offer support and information for small businesses.
- Clean it like it’s your own
Regardless of what you’re cleaning and whether you’re doing traditional housecleaning, janitorial work, or providing a specialty cleaning service in Toronto, clean like you’re cleaning your own home or office.
- Develop systems
Systems provide a structure that allows you to work consistently and efficiently, and also let you create a company that will continue to run whether you’re there or not. Create systems for every function: cleaning, laundry, supervision, reporting, customer service, accounting and management.
- Be careful!
Though time is your most valuable commodity, don’t rush so much that you get careless. Customers will usually understand when accidents happen, but you’re better off if you don’t have to fall back on that. Also, the cost to repair or replace something–in out-of-pocket cash, time lost and damaged customer relations–is usually far more than the time you might save by working carelessly.
- Don’t undersell yourself
When you’re starting out, you may be tempted to try to undercut the competition’s prices. A better strategy is to simply outperform them by providing quality work.
- Take care of your employees
Look for ways to make them want to do their best. Train them well, don’t micromanage, and treat them with respect. Provide bonuses and incentives for top performance, and consider offering perks such as letting them use company equipment in their own homes.
- Find a niche
Don’t try to be all things to all people; pick the market you can best serve, and focus on that. Excel in what you’re doing and build consistency in the services you provide. When you try to serve too many markets, you won’t be successful in any of them.
- Develop your computer skills
You need to be as skilled with your computer as you are with a mop or buffer. The cleaning business may not be particularly high tech, but you don’t have time to do estimates, billing, payroll, inventory control and other record-keeping by hand.
- Track labor costs
If you aren’t watching your labor costs every day, they’ll get away from you. You can take help with these questions:
- Is the customer asking for extra services you aren’t charging for?
- Did you underestimate the time it would take to do the work?